Friday, June 29, 2012

Did You Miss the Fieldhouse Forum? Another One Coming to Vinegar Hill on July 11

Site of future Fieldhouse on Furman Street  Photo: BBPC
NYC Fieldhouse, the group offering to underwrite a $40 million recreational and cycling facility (Velodrome) in Brooklyn Bridge Park near Pier 5, will be holding a fourth community forum to discuss the project.

This latest forum will take place on Wednesday, July 11 in the cafeteria at P.S. 307, located at 209 York Street in Vinegar Hill / DUMBO, from 6:30-8:15 p.m.

Fieldhouse staff, along with the facility’s architect and representatives of Brooklyn Bridge Park, will be on hand to discuss the project and listen to the community’s comments on programming and overall design.

The proposed facility will be located on Furman Street at a site now occupied by an old one-story warehouse building used by the park for storage and construction (shown above)

The Fieldhouse is envisioned to include a 200-meter inclined track for cycling and a 22,000 sq. ft. infield for high school, collegiate or professional sporting events (basketball, tennis, track, etc.). It also includes amenities such as a public boathouse, public restrooms, and maintenance and operations space for BBPC.

To date, Fieldhouse staff have conducted three forums – one at Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill, the second at South Brooklyn Community High School in Red Hook, and the third at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights.

While no RSVP is required, for planning purposes, members of the community are requested to email

More about Rechnitz and NYC Fieldhouse here.

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50-Foot Sink Hole in Bay Ridge Swallows Tree Whole -- UPDATE

The Brooklyn Eagle has photos of the giant sink hole that opened up on the sidewalk in front of a 92nd St. yesterday.

The paper quotes a resident reported watching in shock as the sink hole literally swallowed a whole tree that stood on the sidewalk and sucked it below ground.

The block of 92nd Street between Third Avenue and Ridge Boulevard is closed as emergency crews deal with the massive crater.

UPDATE: Another sinkhole appears, and residents and officials worry that the worst is yet to come. Brooklyn Eagle 

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No One Laughing At the Hooter Jokes in Brooklyn Anymore

One of the longest-running jokes on Brooklyn blogs is the old "a Hooters is opening in our neighborhood" gag. Everyone has a good laugh, wipes their eyes and moves on.

Now the Brooklyn Eagle and NY Daily News report that neighbors of the soon-to-open Barclays Center are trying to fend off an actual Hooters from opening in their neighborhood, but no one's laughing. (Not even at the category name "breastaurant.")

“I don’t know whether it’s a cultural clash or a clash in values, but it’s not the kind of establishment people would expect to find in Brownstone Brooklyn,” said CB6's Craig Hammerman.

Best lines of the story in the News: "A group called Save Park Slope declared war on Twitter Monday. 'We will fight Hooters on all fronts,' the group tweeted."

A big, sad breasterant story at the Eagle.

Photo by Noelweather, Creative Commons license

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Fieldhouse Crowds Overwhelming? Steiner Snags the Jardin; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Willowtowners worry about traffic from Fieldhouse crowds at BBPark. BHB

- Steiner Studios has purchased the Jardin, a 44-unit Williamsburg luxury rental building, for $38 million. Crain's

- Photos from opening day at McCarren Pool. Brokelyn and Gothamist

- Brooklyn 14-year-old boy brain dead after shooting. WSJ

- NY's anti-bullying law goes into effect Sunday; De Blasio's organizing a roundtable. Brooklyn Eagle

- That 88-year-old Williamsburg grandma with a beer company doesn't exist. Gothamist

- Summer beer garden at Brooklyn Historical Society. Examiner

- How did they do that? Graffiti artist tags the Brooklyn Bridge. Gothamist

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Early Advert: DUMBO Arts Festival

It's early yet, but the DUMBO Arts Festival just sent us a presser about this year's event, which takes place September 28 – 30, 2012.

We were just going to stick this in the "later" file but we saw this photo on the press page and really liked it. So here's the blurb: This year the festival -- an amazing mix of art, music, performance and spectacle -- presents works by more than 500 artists, with 100 open studios, 50 galleries and stages, and 100 programming partners.

The number of open studios seems to be shrinking (wasn't it 150 last year?) Other than that, it's our favorite event of the year.

- Check out 2011.
- More 2011.
- DUMBO Arts Festival 2010.
- DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 
- DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival 2008
- DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival 2007

Photo courtesy DUMBO Arts Festival

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Comptrollers Uncover Cell Phone Antenna Tax Cheats, Many in Brooklyn

Not only are your landlords frying your brains -- they may not be paying taxes on those rooftop cell phone towers, either.

City Comptroller John Liu and State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said yesterday that New York City’s Department of Finance failed to collect an estimated $24 million in property taxes from property owners who neglected to report income from cell phone antennas.

That income can add up. The Dept. of Finance estimates that properties north of 125th Street and in the "outer" boroughs make about $2,000 a month per cell carrier that leases space. South of 125th Street, properties make an estimated $4,000 per month.

For some reason Brooklyn had the highest number of cell tower scofflaws, at 602. Manhattan came next, with 594. In Queens, the comptrollers uncovered 489 cell cheats; the Bronx had 363 and Staten Island had 60.

"This audit clearly outlines how the Finance Dept. can recover $24 million. That's real money that can stave off anything from tax increases to cuts in public services,” Comptroller Liu said.

“The audit findings released today show that with a little creativity and ingenuity the city can benefit tremendously," Comptroller DiNapoli said.

Photo by MK Metz

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Teacher Beats Student at Westinghouse H.S.; Barclay's Walk of Shame; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Teacher caught on video beating up a student at Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School in Downtown Brooklyn. CBS

- City Council to cut pork on nonprofit founded by Brooklyn Democratic boss Vito Lopez. NY Daily News

- Empty your pockets: Barclay's Center to make patrons walk through metal detectors, in spite of BP Markowitz's "vehement" opposition. Gothamist

- A Brooklyn high school student wins prize for research showing that mustard greens might treat bacterial infections. Brooklyn Eagle

- The witness of a South Slope sexual assault claims cops threw him in jail on a trumped up charge as payback for criticizing their investigation. Brooklyn Paper

- Brooklyn author talks about the brighter side of fear at TED conference. Brooklyn Eagle  And more here.

- Scientists invent particles that will let you live without breathing. Gizmodo

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Kiddies Caribbean Carnival Fiesta at Brooklyn Children's Museum

On Saturday, June 30th the Brooklyn Children's Museum will celebrate and close out Caribbean Heritage Month.

In collaboration with West Indian-American Day Carnival Association (W.I.A.D.C.A.), the Museum’s second annual Kiddies Caribbean Carnival Fiesta features tasty cuisine by renowned chef Shorne Benjamin, live entertainment by SOCAMOTION, a steel pan workshop with Ricardo Greenaway and an all-out kiddies carnival parade. Come dressed in carnival costume regalia.

All Kiddies Caribbean Carnival Fiesta programs are included with Museum admission. More at

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International African Arts Festival in Commodore Barry Park Starts Saturday

The 41st Annual International African Arts Festival (IAAF) will take place Saturday, June 30 through Wednesday, July 4, 10 AM – 9 PM rain or shine at Commodore Barry Park (Navy Street at Park and Flushing Avenues) in Brooklyn.

The theme of this year’s IAAF is Baadenyya (baa-deny-ya); its English translation means brotherhood and sisterhood.

Activities include chess tournaments, magic shows, fashion shows, exercise and dance demonstrations, face painting and more. The African Marketplace features African inspired home accessories, furniture, art, clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, food etc.

Each day has a theme: Afro Latin Jazz sensation Cita Rodriquez, Daughters of Makeba Ensemble, Universal African Dance & Drum Ensemble are just a few artists scheduled to participate in Saturday’s opening day’s “Tribute to Women in the Arts”.

Minimum donations of $3 per adult and $1 per child for admission. More info here.

Photo courtesy IAAF

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Falling Debris: Avoid World Trade Center Area, NYC

Notification issued from Notify NYC 6/27/12 at 2:05 PM.
Emergency personnel are responding to a construction incident at the World Trade Center near Church Street and Cortlandt Street.

As a result of falling debris, the following streets are closed to both pedestrian and vehicular traffic: Trinity Place from Thames Street to Cortland Street; Liberty, Cedar, and Thames streets between Broadway and West Street.

Traffic may back up near Brooklyn Bridge routes.

There are no injuries. Expect a heavy emergency service presence in the area.

Glass fell 45 stories. Gothamist

 UPDATE2:All's clear at 9:15 p.m. 

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Barron Wants Recount; Hero Rescues Baby from Tracks; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Barron calls for a recount and says he would not be calling Jeffries to congratulate him on the win. NY Daily News

- Hero rescues baby after wind blows stroller onto New York subway tracks. Fox

- Budget breakthrough restores cuts to day care and after-school programs. Brooklyn Eagle

- Brooklyn's Henry Lu, 22, wins $650G World Series of Poker tourney in Las Vegas. NY Daily News

- Carroll Gardens Patch live blogged last night's Barclays Center Operations round table discussion at Borough Hall.

- The latest development in the Brooklyn Heights hot dog cart imbroglio: No permit, no dog. Brooklyn Eagle

- New Park Place Historic District designated by Landmarks Commission. Brooklyn Eagle

- Colorado is on fire. Reuters

- Beware booking a vacation on your MacBook. Brokelyn

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Brooklyn Public Library Funding Restored, Bloomberg's Phony Crisis Averted

Part of Mayor Bloomberg's panic-inducing budget proposal called for cutting $27 million dollars from Brooklyn Public Library in 2013 -- or one third of its entire operating budget.

Late Monday a deal was worked out by the Mayor and the City Council that would restore $25 million of those cuts.

Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library issued a very polite statement saying, "Thank you to the countless patrons, volunteers, staff members and elected officials who advocated on the Library's behalf. Your dedication to our cause is the reason why we will be able to keep our doors open and continue to serve our communities."

While we're all thankful, we'd like to ask the Mayor: What kind of idiot would cut one third of the budget from a major metropolitan library threatening every single educational program for its children and irreplaceable resources for business and taxpayers -- when it wasn't necessary? How can this possibly be construed as rational governing?

The same budget nonsense went on with countless essential city programs and services that were eventually restored.

So now that we've all ignored our day jobs and disrupted business trying to save the library, fire houses, child care, after-school programs and teachers, the pretend crisis that had the whole city lurching around trying to save itself just disappeared.

The Mayor plays his governing games, having one hand of the city fight its other hand in fruitless, time- and money-wasting battles.

The charitable view is that good government bores him. We'd hate to think he has a nefarious goal in all this disruption -- like keeping people who really care too busy to notice things like no-bid contractors looting the city's coffers of billions of dollars.

Photo by Pharos, Wikipedia

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Brooklyn Primary: Jeffries, Velazquez, Clarke, Long UPDATED

* At midnight Hakeem Jeffries was leading by a huge percentage in the primary for Brooklyn's 8th Congressional District: 72 percent vs. Charles Barron's 28 percent. These figures held steady at 2 a.m.  (National Journal)
2 a.m. UPDATE: Barron calls for a recount! NY Daily News

* NY1 declares Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez the winner in the Democratic primary for the Congress seat in Brooklyn's 7th District. At midnight Velazquez had 62 percent of the vote, vs. 25 percent for Erik Dilan; 10 percent for Dan O'Connor; and 3 percent for George Martinez.
2 a.m. UPDATE: The NY Times updates these figures:  Velazquez has 58 percent; Dilan at 31 percent; O'Connor at 8 percent; and Martinez at almost 3 percent.

* The Working Families Party reported that Yvette Clarke won in the 9th District (Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, Flatbush, Brownsville Prospect Park and Sheepshead Bay) against opponent Sylvia Kinard.
2 a.m. UPDATE:  Clarke at 88 percent; Kinard at 12 percent.

* Hoping to challenge Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand were three Republicans: Bob Turner, a member of the House (Brooklyn /Queens);. Wendy E. Long, a Manhattan lawyer; and George Maragos, the Nassau County comptroller. At 1 a.m., the NY Times calls it for Long. 

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Starbucks On Fulton Street, Downtown Brooklyn

Construction of a new Starbucks coffee shop is moving along quickly at 348 Fulton St. in Downtown Brooklyn -- not far from Shake Shack.

The 1,334-square-foot space was most recently home to Porta Bella, a men’s clothing and shoe store. (See photo of this store at the Brooklyn Eagle.)

Photo by MK Metz

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Creep Steals Bike, Twitter Gets It Back; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Sephardic Community Federation spends thousands to denounce Congressional candidate Charles Barron. Sheepshead Bites

- Baluchi's in Park Slope reopens after DOH closure. Here's Park Slope

- Creep in Brooklyn steals rare bike, but Twitter gets it back. Slate

- Nostalgia trains are coming back this summer. Gothamist

- Massive flight delays at JFK after TSA agent fails to notice metal detector isn't plugged in. Gawker

- Jew-hating Elmo carted out of Central Park. Gawker Other Elmo's say he tormented them, too. NY Magazine

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Who's Running in Today's Elections in Brooklyn?

Today is Election Day, June 26. It's important to get out and vote or we may get some nasty surprises.

* The 7th Congressional District (parts of Brooklyn including Brooklyn Heights, Manhattan and Queens):
Incumbent Rep. Nydia Velazquez has been endorsed by President Barack Obama, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the New York Times and Assembly Majority Leader Sheldon Silver. Opposing her is Councilman Erik Martin Dilan, supported by Brooklyn Democratic party boss Vito Lopez. Also running: Occupy Wall Street member George Martinez; former district leader Daniel O'Connor.

* The 8th Congressional district is made up of Fort Greene, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Howard Beach, Canarsie and Brighton Beach:
Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries is fighting City Councilman Charles Barron. Jeffries has been endorsed by Ed Koch and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Barron, a black supremacist, is endorsed by former KKK head David Duke and unions.

* The 9th Congressional District consists of Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, Flatbush, Brownsville Prospect Park and Sheepshead Bay:
Incumbent Rep. Yvette Clarke has been endorsed by President Barack Obama. Sylvia Kinard is opposing her.

Find your polling place here.

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Hot and Fresh Indeed: Mx. Justin Vivian Bond in Brooklyn

The legendary Mx. Justin Vivian Bond performed at Dekalb Market in Downtown Brooklyn (in front of the "Hot and Fresh" sign) during Sunday’s outre “Everybooty” party, celebrating Gay Pride Week.

More about the event here.

Photo by MK Metz

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Monday, June 25, 2012

SmorgasBar Just In Time for Thirsty Williamsburg Crowds

Build it and they will come: On Saturday "SmorgasBar" opened at the Williamsburg food destination Smorgasburg and we've never seen the place so packed.

The bar (above) and tables (below) were set up inside a simple roped-off area. We got carded! Hilarious!

The hot weather made beer very necessary. Organizers say that shade will be coming soon.

The humongous Renegade Craft Fair also took place on Saturday, right next to Smorgasburg. We actually broke down and bought stuff.

This jewelry made out of old skate boards was actually quite pretty.

Photos by MK Metz

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Mermaid Parade; Manhunt in Sheepshead Bay; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Coney Island Mermaid Parade photos here. Gothamist

- A 30-year-old Brooklyn-born sprinter won the men's 100 meters final of the USA Olympic trials Sunday -- after a four-year suspension. Newsday

- Major police activity -- helicopters, manhunt -- in Sheepshead Bay early this morning. Sheepshead Bites

- Cyber security heavy hitters gathered in Brooklyn last week and warned of an increase in cyber crime. Brooklyn Eagle

- More about the Brooklyn Heights hotdog vendor saga. BHB

- Meeting tonight to discuss the Fieldhouse /Velodrome in Brooklyn Bridge Park. More here

- A Brooklyn man was sentenced Friday for threatening the creators of the "South Park" television show. Brooklyn Eagle

- Creepy "artist" surreptitiously snaps photos of ladies on subway. Gothamist

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Giant Outrigger Canoes in DUMBO for Liberty Challenge

Outrigger on Main St.  MK Metz
Giant outrigger canoes lined Main Street in DUMBO on Saturday for the 2012 Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge outrigger canoe race. The event brought hundreds of paddlers from around the world.

This fireboat greeted the paddlers. MK Metz
Outrigger in action, by
The Champions:
* Women's Open Champions: Hui Lanakila from Hawaii.
* Women's Senior Masters Champions: Puuwai Outrigger from Wailea, Kauai, Hawaii.
* Men's Masters Champions: Marina del Rey Outrigger from Marina del Rey, California.
* Men's Senior Masters Champions: Manu’iwa Outrigger Senior Masters from Milford, Connecticut.
* Men's Open Champions: Team Primo from the State of Hawaii.
* Mixed Champions: New York Outrigger from New York, NY.

Note the winner from New York!

All the results are listed here.

Check out the gallery of photos at

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fireworks Over NYC, Brooklyn and New Jersey Tonight -- Sunday, June 24, 2012

A fabulous fireworks display tonight -- at 10:30 p.m. Sunday, June 24, 2012 -- over New York City (and viewable from New Jersey and Brooklyn) celebrates Gay Pride Week, with events taking place on Manhattan's East side.

The fireworks will launch near Pier 54 in the Hudson River (near 14th Street).

Other Gay Pride events today include the famous march (led by Cyndi Lauper, Chris Salgardo, Phyllis Siegel and Connie Kopelova), a street fair, a dance on Pier 57 and more.

Sponsor: Heritage of Pride

Photo by Max Talbot-Minkin (maxintosh), Creative Commons license

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Ky-Mani Marley Music Blows Away Downtown Brooklyn Crowd

Ky-Mani Marley blew away a lunchtime crowd of hundreds that filled MetroTech Commons in Downtown Brooklyn for the first concert of BAM's R&B series this past Thursday. It was literally 100 degrees but the crowd was right with him as he performed classic reggae and modern hip-hop.

Ky-Mani is the youngest of Bob Marley’s sons, and a huge talent in his own right.

More about Thursday's concert here.

Photos by MK Metz

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fireworks Over NYC, Brooklyn, New Jersey Tonight -- June 23, 2012

Get ready for fireworks Saturday night (June 23) somewhere between 9:45 - 10:30 p.m. over New York Harbor, visible from New Jersey, New York City, Brooklyn and Staten Island. The display is being set off from Federal Anchorage at Ellis Island.

It's all part of the B.I.G. (Believe in Girls) Celebration honoring "100 years of herstory" with the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey. The day included 100 activities and performances at Liberty State Park by celebs Rachel Crow, Goodbye Friday, Savvy, Stephanie Marie, Bloom Joe Jonas (of the Jonas Brothers), Sara Bareilles and more. (Top cookie sellers got to have their photos taken with the stars.) See all the other activities here.

The girls, ever service-minded, helped the National Wildlife Federation plant native flower beds in Liberty State Park.

Photo courtesy Girl Scouts of New Jersey

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Booze at Jay-Z's Somewhat Curtailed; Brooklyn Lit; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Full bottle service won't be allowed at Jay-Z's 40/40 Club at Barclay's -- but bottles of wine and champagne will be available by the bottle and hard liquor by the shot -- till 2 a.m. Metro

- Brooklyn has become a kind of "vertically integrated factory for literature." Economist

- 11-year-old boy hit by Verizon truck and seriously injured in Midwood. DNAinfo

- Charges against four men from Crown Heights, indicted last year on charges of raping and  prostituting a woman for nearly a decade, will be dropped. NY Times

- Dekalb Market: the landlord is forcing the market out this fall so that it can build a permanent housing and retail development on the site. Eater

- Because the percentage of low-income families at P.S. 9 has dipped to 59.1, just below the 60 percent cut-off, it is losing $360,000 in federal funding. Brownstoner

- KKK racist David Duke endorses Barron for Congress. Brooklyn Eagle

- CB2 meeting: Developers want reduced parking requirements to apply not only to new buildings, as proposed, but also to existing buildings. Streetsblog

- Why we should hate the NY Times Fashion section. Gawker

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Rhythm Revue Dance Party at Grand Army Plaza this Saturday

One of Felix Hernandez' famous 'Rhythm Revue' dance parties is happening this Saturday, June 23 at Prospect Park's Grand Army Plaza (at Bailey Fountain), as part of the series Jazz: Brooklyn's Beat.

WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM and Heart of Brooklyn are sponsoring the event. Felix Hernandez is WBGO's Rhythm Review host (and a Brooklynite).

In 1991, Felix did his first Rhythm Revue Dance Party at Tramps in New York City. The party moved to the Roseland Ballroom, where it's been held since 1992. Felix's mix of classic soul, disco and funk consistently draws a crowd of 2,500 to 3,500 dancers.

Council Member Letitia James will help kick off the event at 4 p.m. The party goes on till 7 p.m. All ages invited.

Photo courtesy WGBO

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Tonight: 'Gayby' at BAM

After premiering at SXSW, Jonathan Lisecki’s New York-shot comedy Gayby will be making its New York premiere this weekend at back-to-back screenings at BAMcinemaFest (Friday, 6/22) in Brooklyn and Rooftop Films Summer Series (Saturday, 6/23) on the Lower East Side.

Written and Directed by Jonathan Lisecki; Starring Jenn Harris and Matthew Wilkas

**OFFICIAL SELECTION: BAMcinemaFest 2012**

BAMcinemaFest Screening
Friday, June 22nd, 9:15pm
BAM Rose Cinemas (Brooklyn Academy of Music; 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Rooftop Films Summer Series Screening
Saturday, June 23rd, 9:00pm
Open Road Rooftop, 350 Grand Street, New York, NY 10002

Film review here.

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Power Blackouts, Brownouts Across Brooklyn and Queens: 2nd Night

Roughly 2,500 Con Edison customers in Brooklyn and Queens are without electricity Thursday night / Friday morning, June 22.

Con Edison has reduced voltage in 17 Brooklyn and 20 Queens communities due to problems with electrical equipment. These neighborhoods include:

* Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Borough Park, Flatbush, Bensonhurst, and Dyker Heights.

* Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Midwood, Flatbush, and East Flatbush.

* East New York, Cypress Hills, Highland Park, City Line and Starrett City.

* Douglaston Manor, Douglaston, Little Neck, Bayside, Bay Terrace, Auburndale, College Point, Beechurst, Whitestone, Linden Hill, Murray Hill, and Queensborough Hill.

* Broad Channel, South Ozone Park, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven and Kew Gardens.

The company has asked customers in these neighborhoods not to use appliances such as washers, dryers, air conditioners and other energy-intensive equipment and to turn off lights and televisions when not needed until the equipment problems are resolved.

The company also has dispatched a community outreach van to Borough Park. It is based at 50th Street between 14th and 15th Avenues.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Walentas To Pay $185M for Domino Sugar Site

The Brooklyn Eagle, New York Times and other sources are reporting that Walentas' Two Trees Management agreed on Thursday to purchase the Domino Sugar refinery site in Williamsburg from [Community Preservation Corp.] C.P.C. Resources for $185 million.

That's $15 million more than the figure kicked around on June 11. The Real Deal reported at that time:
"The property’s owners, Community Preservation Corp. and the Katan Group, have engaged in a legal battle over development plans in recent months, and Katan is planning to block a sale to Two Trees."

A lawyer for Katan Group, meanwhile, told Crain's that his client was "surprised to learn" about the deal with Two Trees and made clear it did not approve. (Crain's reports the sales figure as $160 million.)

The original plan for the sugar factory called for the $2 billion development of 2,200 housing units, including 600 affordable ones.

Photo by MK Metz

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Prominent Bay Ridge Couple Loses Home in 'Inferno' -- Saved By Neighbor

A four-alarm fire ripped through the 81st Street home of Bob Howe, president of the Merchants of Third Avenue business organization, destroying the home in which he and his family lived for 28 years, the Brooklyn Eagle reports.

“Thank God for my neighbor. Thank God we got out in time,” Howe told the Eagle.

Sadly, all of Howe’s belongings were destroyed in the blaze.

More here.

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Brooklyn Bridge Park Fieldhouse /Velodrome Forums On June 25 and June 27

Site of future Fieldhouse /Velodrome on Furman St. Photo: BBPC
New York City Fieldhouse /philanthropist Joshua Rechnitz has offered to underwrite the design and construction of a $40 million year round, multi-purpose recreational and cycling facility ("Velodrome") on the site of an aging storage building on Furman Street near Pier 5 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

One of several forums to learn more and share ideas on programming and design takes place on June 25 at St. Francis College, Callahan Center. 180 Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights from 6:30 - 8:15 p.m.

In addition, the Willowtown Association is sponsoring a special community meeting to discuss the project on Wednesday evening, June 27, at 7:30 at the Alfred T. White Center on Willow Place.

We don't have further details about the June 25 meeting, but speakers at the June 27 presentation will include Greg Brooks, executive director of The New York City Fieldhouse Inc., and representatives of the donor and the architectural firm retained to design the center, Thomas Phifer and Partners.

The Fieldhouse is envisioned to include a 200-meter inclined track for cycling and a 22,000 sq. ft. infield for high school, collegiate or professional sporting events (basketball, tennis, track, etc.). It also includes amenities such as a public boathouse, public restrooms, and maintenance and operations space for BBPC.

More about Rechnitz and NYC Fieldhouse here.

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SmorgasBooze; Nasty School Principal; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The assistant principal at Progress HS for Professional Careers in Bushwick has some nasty career advice for female students seeking summer employment. Gawker

- Judge: Lawsuit over Forest City Ratner's "sham" job training program can proceed. Atlantic Yards Report

- Here's a photo of the Brooklyn Grange's rooftop farm at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Curbed

- The New York Times reviewed Smith Street’s Battersby this week, and Nona Brooklyn describes the reaction. NonaBrooklyn

- James Proud, a Thiel Fellow who received $100,000 to forgo college to work on a personal project, just sold his company GigLocator to Peter Shapiro, the owner of Williamsburg's Brooklyn Bowl. TechCrunch

- Smorgasburg starts serving booze (officially) this weekend. Grub Street via Gothamist

- As the FBI investigation of Rep. Michael Grimm's campaign finances continues, he has reportedly racked up $321,000 in legal bills just since April. Bay Ridge Journal

- The number of people with Ph.Ds on food stamps has more than tripled in the past few years. Brokelyn

- Ron Paul's route to convention chaos: the vice presidential nomination. Huff Post

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Atlantic Yards Traffic Management Plan Comment Period Extended

CB6 sends us notice that the question and comment period for the Atlantic Yards 'Traffic Demand Management' Draft Plan has been extended until Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at midnight.

All documents about the plan can be found on the Atlantic Yards homepage ( and all comments and questions should be sent to

Photo by Lingaraj GJ, Creative Commons license

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Local 'Mermaids on Parade' Blog Nominated for Fascination Award

Brooklyn author and illustrator Melanie Hope Greenberg's blog "Mermaids on Parade" (named for her popular illustrated book of the same name) is in the running for a Fascination Award in the 'Art Teacher' category.

Specifically, her post about the Betsy Bird Saturday Children's Literary Salon panel (called "Connect the Dots") was nominated.

Check out her post and if you like it, help support a Brooklyn artist: By clicking on the nomination badge at the top right of the post you can contribute your vote. (You need to be using Google +) Voting runs through June 25.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Brownouts, Blackouts in Brooklyn and Queens UPDATED

Power outages map updated 10:30 p.m.

Con Edison has reduced voltage by 5 percent -- causing "brownouts" -- to many neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens due to problems with electrical equipment.

Additionally, scattered power outages are breaking out across Brooklyn and Queens. In Brooklyn, roughly 270  customers (see update below) have lost power as of 8 p.m. About 60 have lost power in Queens.

UPDATE: More than a thousand customers were without power in Brooklyn at 10:00 p.m. Wednesday night, but that number is fluctuating. Several hundreds more lost power in Queens.

Voltage-reduction areas in Brooklyn and Queens include these neighborhoods:

* East New York, Cypress Hills, Highland Park, City Line and Starrett City.

* Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Midwood, Flatbush, and East Flatbush.

* Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bedford Stuyvesant, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene and Park Slope.

* Glen Oaks, Floral Park, Bellerose, Queens Village, Bellaire, Holliswood, Hollis, St. Albans, Cambria Heights, Laurelton, Springfield Gardens, Jamaica, South Jamaica, Jamaica Hills, Glendale, Forest Hills, Forest Hills Gardens, and Middle Village.

* Broad Channel, South Ozone Park, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven and Kew Gardens.

Con Edison has asked customers in these areas not to use appliances such as washers, dryers, air conditioners and other energy-intensive equipment and to turn off lights and televisions when not needed until the equipment problems are resolved.
You can keep refrigerators on, but keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to help save energy.

Customers can report power interruptions or service problems as well as view service restoration information online at Customers may also call Con Edison at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633). When reporting an outage, customers should have their Con Edison account number available, if possible, and report whether their neighbors also have lost power.

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MP3 Players 'Evil'; Really, Neil?; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Signs posted around Williamsburg warn Hasidim that mp3 players are dangerous and evil. Failed Messiah

- Can this be right? At Barclays Center, Neil Young and Crazy Horse will perform such traditional American folk songs as “Clementine” and “She’ll Be Coming ’Round the Mountain." Brooklyn Eagle

- Where to cool off in Brooklyn during extreme heat.

- DOT to address Hicks Street safety at CB6 meeting. Carroll Gardens Patch

- Andy Statman, a virtuoso clarinetist and mandolin player from Brooklyn, was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship on Monday. NY Times

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Brooklyn Eagle Sign Comes Down at 30 Henry Street

Construction workers removed the Brooklyn Daily Eagle sign from the newspaper's old headquarters at 30 Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights yesterday.

Brick by brick, the building is being demolished to make room for a new, five-story condo.

The Brooklyn Eagle has moved to DUMBO and 16 Court Street, with another office in Bay Ridge.

Previous Posts On This Topic:
- 30 Henry Street, Brooklyn Heights: Roof Already Half Off
- 30 Henry Street HQ of Brooklyn Eagle Sold for $3.5 Million
- A Century of Changes at 30 Henry Street, Brooklyn Heights
- LPC Approves New 30 Henry Street Design in Brooklyn Heights
- Brooklyn Eagle's HQ in Brooklyn Heights Sold to Developers

- Find the Changes In New Improved 30 Henry Street Proposal
- Brooklyn Eagle Looking to Move to Gowanus? Building On the Market
- Serious Accident Sends Car Flying into Building on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights

Photo by MK Metz

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Nice Place for a Pool

The "Pop Up Pool" near Pier 2 in Brooklyn Bridge Park is under construction, as seen from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. The pool will open in July and the surrounding area will include a beach, a deck, food and drink concessions, picnic tables, and showers and restrooms.

Photo by MK Metz

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David Ellis Mural In Pearl Street Triangle Becomes More Intricate

The image being painted by artist David Ellis in the Pearl Street Triangle in DUMBO continues to evolve. On each day of the installation, the work will change as Ellis paints new layers of design. Here is how it appeared late Monday. (Click to enlarge)

Previous Posts on this Artwork:
- Artist, Giant Hand, DUMBO
- Not Your Imagination: DUMBO's Pearl Street Triangle Not Green Anymore

Photo by MK Metz

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What Is Going On at Brooklyn School JHS 78 Roy H. Mann?

Yesterday we read that a Brooklyn teenager was blinded in one eye after being assaulted in the cafeteria at Roy H. Mann Junior High School in Bergen Beach.

This isn't the first time things have gotten out of control at Roy H. Mann. In spite of the optimistic but outdated (2003) review at the respected, some of the more recent comments from students and parents paint a picture of a school where violence goes unchecked:

* "Me and my friends are constantly getting picked on or physically harassed by other students with no help from teachers."

* "Sending my child to this school was the worst thing I ever did. The teachers for the most part do not care and my child is not even safe there anymore.. Grade F."

* "The children are out of control because the faculty seems to not care."

* "I cant wait to say goodbye to all those mean and extremely rude unkind and uncaring teachers and those animals aka 'children.'"

* "We all remember Jack as a wonderful guy who everyone loved. (we thought) Later did we realize that he was being bullied every day by the same group of kids everyday ..." (Child committed suicide.)

Less than a year ago a boy died after falling down the school chimney after climbing scaffolding to the roof -- apparently, a common excursion for students.

What is going on here? Where are the grownups at Roy H. Mann? 

Photo: Google Maps

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

'Flea Food Under the Archway' in DUMBO Starts Thursday

Brooklyn Flea has announced that the Flea Food Under the Archway starts Thursday, June 21. According to DumboNYC, vendors like Asia Dog (hot dogs with Asian-inspired toppings)and Brooklyn Oyster Party (po’ boys and raw bar)will be serving lunch and dinner on Thursdays and Fridays,

Get all the mouth-watering details here.

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Driving Tenants Out with Biker Gang; Repealing Same-Sex Marriage; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- L & B Spumoni Gardens mobster trial gets saucy. Bensonhurst Bean

- Landlord paid biker gang to drive Williamsburg tenants out, residents say. NY Post

- Newbie Senator David Storobin proposes a bill which would repeal same-sex marriage in New York. Sheepshead Bites

- Fort Greene guy will soon install on South Portland Avenue a public bench fashioned from concrete and glass harvested over the past two years in Fort Greene Park. The Local

- Park Slope beauty crowned Miss New York. To win, she employed "a punishing one-two combo of tap-dancing prowess and general agreeability." Brooklyn Eagle

- Howard Stern writer named the king of the 30th annual Mermaid Parade. Brooklyn Daily

- Free Summerstage shows in Red Hook. Reality Collective

- Water-on-the-Go installed in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Brooklyn Eagle

- That'll teach her: NJ woman jailed in NYC for 2002 traffic ticket. NBC

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Artist, Giant Hand, DUMBO

Artist David Ellis (top left) paints the Pearl Street Triangle in DUMBO on Friday afternoon. (Click to enlarge)
More Here.

Photo by MK Metz

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11-Year-Old Brooklyn Boy Saves Mom, Stabs Boyfriend; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- 11-year-old Brooklyn boy saved the lives of his mother and a cousin by stabbing mom’s violence-prone boyfriend with a kitchen knife. NY Daily News

- Downtown site sells for $19 million to “Brooklyn Princess.” Plans call for 35 stories and 214 units. Brownstoner

- Brooklyn judge says cops have to prove a defendant's drink has alcohol, not just claim they could smell it. Brooklyn Eagle

- Search for missing New Jersey boy focuses on Brooklyn. Carroll Gardens Patch

- In case you missed it, here are all the winners of the Brooklyn Film Festival last week. BFF

- The Brooklyn Flea feeds "this bottomless, infinite need for stories about Brooklyn." NonaBrooklyn via Atlantic Yards Report

- Coast Guard suspends search off New Jersey coast after another apparent hoax. NY Magazine

- Rodney King died at 47. Gawker

- You're gonna hate Windows 8 at first. Then you may still hate it. TechCrunch

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Video: Brooklyn Nets Dance Team Final Audition

Did you miss the Brooklyn Nets Dance Team's final audition? So did we.

Thank goodness there is a video of the winners. They're not actually from Brooklyn but anyway. They will be shaking it for the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Arena.

The dance team's new name is the Brooklynettes. Get it?

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Brooklyn Reps Call on MTA to Restore Service on B64 Bus Line

On Saturday representatives and Transportation Workers joined in a rally in front of the Ulmer Park Bus Depot in Brooklyn to protest cuts to the B64 bus line, which runs between Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge.

Democratic State Senate candidate Andrew Gounardes, Assemblyman William Colton and Transportation Workers United Local 100 said that service reductions on the B64 line have especially affected senior citizens, the disabled, and school children who rely on the bus line on a daily basis.

They want the MTA to restore full service to the B64 south of Harway Avenue/25th Avenue.

Gounardes said in a statement that the issue here is not just cuts to the B64 but the way the MTA makes decisions in general.

“The time has come for the people of southern Brooklyn to reclaim their transportation system. For too long, we've watched as an unaccountable MTA chipped away at our bus and train service and tone-deaf Albany politicians tried to cut transit even more. This March - while riders from Bath Beach to Marine Park struggled to get just to get to their doctors, schools, and jobs - State Senator Marty Golden and his fellow Republican leaders in Albany tried to cut $770 million in MTA funding!"

He added, "We have almost no say in how funds are spent or priorities determined . . . We need to find a permanent revenue source for our public transit system and not let the fate of our subways and buses be subject to the politics of budget games in Albany."

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Friday, June 15, 2012

City Admits That There ARE Toxic PCBs at Two Carroll Gardens Schools

The city's Department of Education admitted on Friday that toxic PCBs are indeed dripping from contaminated lighting fixtures at two Carroll Gardens schools.

DOE told the Brooklyn Eagle that the city would remove leaking fixtures from P.S. 146 Brooklyn New School and M.S. 448 Brooklyn Secondary School for Collaborative Studies (at 610 Henry Street) early next week.

Parents, representatives and advocacy organizations have been holding protest marches and signing petitions since the beginning of the school year but couldn't seem to catch DOE's attention.

The Eagle reports that hundreds of schools across the city have PCB-containing lighting fixtures and caulk. PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) have been linked to cancer, respiratory, endocrine, reproductive and immune disorders.

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Obama Endorces Velázquez, Says Get Out There and Vote

President Obama endorsed Representative Nydia Velázquez, a 20-year veteran of Congress (7th Congressional district), for reelection and urged Brooklynites to vote for her in the June 26th primary and again in November.

"For the past two decades, Rep. Nydia Velázquez has been a constant advocate for middle-class families, helping to create an economy built to last where everyone has an opportunity to achieve the American Dream," said the President, in a release sent to us by the Congresswoman's office.

Obama said that Velázquez has worked to create middle-class jobs through community projects, provide affordable housing, and invest in education.

Congresswoman Velázquez is currently serving her tenth term as Representative for New York's 12th Congressional District, now known as the 7th CD. In the 112th Congress, she is the Ranking Member of the House Small Business Committee and a senior member of the Financial Services Committee.

In 1992, she was the first Puerto Rican woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

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More Than 9,300 Apply for 1,900 Part Time Jobs at Barclays

More than 9,300 people applied for jobs at the Barclays Center, opening Sept. 28 in Brooklyn according to Atlantic Yards Report, quoting Crain's (subscription).

Job seekers heard about the work from postcards mailed to Housing Authority residents by developer Forest City Ratner, which also visited local churches. About 2,000 jobs are available; roughly 1,900 are part time and 100 full time.

Atlantic Yards Report asks, "Does this mean the arena's a savior, or that Brooklyn has a lot of unemployed people?"

Many of the jobs are likely at the Barclays' many bars, nightclubs and restaurants which will spill thousands of drunken, brawling patrons out into the surrounding residential streets at 2 a.m. 

Photo: Barclays Center

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Reports: Toll Bros and Starwood to Share Pier 1 Hotel, Condo Dev. in Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation is set to vote next Tuesday on a developer to construct a hotel and condo building at Pier 1, and Brownstoner links to stories in Crain’s and The Times that report that two of the seven original RFP respondents will be awarded the job as a team.

“The team…will likely be made up of Toll Brothers and Starwood Capital Group, according to sources,” Crain’s says. More here.

Related post:
- Seven Different Proposals To Build Huge Hotel and Residential Complex In Brooklyn Bridge Park

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Swastica Spree in Borough Park, Brooklyn: Reward Offered UPDATE: Caught on Camera

Councilman David G. Greenfield reviews security footage.
Borough Park, Brooklyn residents woke up this morning to find swastikas painted on at least a half-dozen buildings throughout the neighborhood. Councilman David G. Greenfield is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals responsible.

Borough Park (also spelled Boro Park) is home to one of the largest Orthodox Jewish communities outside of Israel.

Council Greenfield's office said that swastikas were discovered early this morning spray painted on at least six buildings in the vicinity of 16th Avenue, including a synagogue, a public school and several businesses. The NYPD is investigating this hate crime against Brooklyn’s Jewish community, including reviewing security footage from local businesses.

“Once again, we find ourselves under attack from individuals who think nothing of spreading hate and fear throughout the community. This is absolutely unacceptable, especially in an area that is home to so many Holocaust survivors," Greenfield said.

UPDATE: Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said this morning, "Cameras on the streets have proven their worth by catching footage of the perpetrators, and they will face consequences for what they’ve done."

Anyone with information is urged to call the NYPD’s confidential tip line at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Photo courtesy of Councilman Greenfield

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Not Your Imagination: DUMBO's Pearl Street Triangle Not Green Anymore

Remember all that talk about DUMBO's "iconic green" Pearl Street Triangle?

Well as of Thursday the green is plumb gone, replaced by broad sections of color.

It seems that  Brooklyn artist David Ellis is painting an ever-changing mural. According to the Brooklyn Eagle, Thursday was Day 1 of a four- or five-day project. On each day of the installation, the work will change as Ellis paints new layers of design.

More here:
- DUMBO’s famous Pearl Street Triangle not green anymore — becoming a mural

Photo by MK Metz

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thank God Someone Finally Compiled the DUMBO Food Truck Schedule

Today is Thursday, and DUMBO hive workers are looking at Fun Buns, Chinese Mirch, Mexico Blvd, and a couple other lunch truck choices.

How do we know?

Dumbo NYC did the spread sheet thing and compiled a food truck schedule for the summer season.

Here it is.

We notice lots of good choices most weekdays except for Fridays, when just Korilla BBQ and a few random trucks fly by.

Photo of Fun Buns  by MK Metz

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It's That Time Again: Terrify Your Pet Day at Deno's Wonder Wheel

It's a little Brooklyn tradition: Terrify your pet by dragging its shivering body onto Deno's Wonder Wheel on Saturday June 16th for Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park’s annual Pet Day. Pets ride free when accompanied by their owner from noon-7 p.m.

Hang onto the little wrigglers! Because at 2 p.m. you can both put on your wigs and enter the Coney Island Pet Costume Contest on the Boardwalk, hosted by The World Famous BOB and judged by proud pet owners Bambi, the Mermaid of Coney Island; and Miss Cyclone, Angie Pontani.

The contest will be followed by a pet procession through Wonder Wheel Park. More here.

Photo courtesy of Deno's Wonder Wheel

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Jay-Z a Director of Barclays Arena, and the Late Night Booze Is On

Jay-Z has been listed as director of Barclays Arena LLC, the NY Post reports.

The news of Jay-Z's new title emerged as arena officials confirmed that they would extend drinking hours till 2 a.m. at the Barclays for VIPs.

Local representatives had complained to the liquor authority that Barclays representatives never informed the boards about late night booze for the high rollers in arena restaurants, luxury suites and VIP seats.

Photo by Joella Maran, at Wikipedia

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Real Brooklyn 'Goodfella' Dies; Groper Pix; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Wild shootout Wednesday night as cops nabbed suspect at the Ingersoll Houses in Fort Greene. NY Daily News and DNAinfo

- The real Brooklyn "Goodfella" died Tuesday. Brooklyn Eagle

- Catch a free ride to Rockaway Beach this weekend on the new Rockabus. Brokelyn

- Here's a picture of the mohawk-sporting Brooklyn subway groper caught on camera. NY Daily News

- Bill introduced to legalize Sunday morning brunch. NY Times

- The old roofing repair scam is going on in Brooklyn Heights. BHB

- Brooklyn veterans are pissed about the neglected Brooklyn War Memorial in Cadman Plaza Park. Brooklyn Eagle

- Pudgy Walsh is a real hero of Brooklyn football. (Did you know there was Brooklyn football?) NY Daily News

- Smith Street Stage is bringing William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night to Carroll Park. Reality Collective

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ambitious 'Photoville' Exhibition Coming to Brooklyn Bridge Park

A major photography event dubbed Photoville will take place in Brooklyn Bridge Park from from June 22 to July 1.

Photoville is a "village" of more than 30 freight containers transformed into temporary exhibition spaces for photography from around the world. The exhibition begins at Pier 1 and continues along the walkway to the uplands of Pier 3.

The event features exhibits, lectures, hands-on workshops, nighttime projections, a weirdly elaborate photo dog run, a camera art "greenhouse," and a summer beer-garden with food trucks.


The exhibits are too numerous to list, but here are a few examples:

- The New York Times will present a group exhibition that spans from the 9/11 disaster to the present, with emphasis on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

- The Magnum Foundation will present Bruce Gilden and his series "No Place Like Home: Foreclosures in America" as well as Beijing-based Sim Chi Yin and her series "China's Rat Tribe," which peers into the lives of young migrant workers literally living underground in Beijing.
Photo by Lizzie Sadin
- “Cruel and Unusual” takes a look behind prison walls through the work of eleven photographers.

- Rock Paper Photo will present "Blinded By the Light," a group show that features the work of 25 music photographers and spans the 1960s to the present.

Artists Talks

Consult the directory for the large number of artist talks. They range from a talk about Li Hao Worshippers at the Jokhang Temple Square in Lhasa to BagNewsNotes' “The State of the News Photo.” More talks here.

Hands-on Workshops

The hands-on workshops run the gamut: from David Graham's “Great Portraits in 15 Seconds - A Portrait of New York” to Conveyor Arts "Teen Zine Workshop" to “Introduction to Lomography” to Bushwick Community Darkroom's “Gum Printing.”

The Center for Alternative Photography will present a "Tintype Photo Booth” workshop; Musee Magazine presents "The Art of Fashion Portraiture;" The Impossible Project presents “An Introduction to Impossible Film and the Polaroid 600 Camera.”

More workshops here

In addition to the shipping container show, "The fence" is a summer-long outdoor photo exhibition, 1000 feet in length.


Friday June 22 4pm - 10pm
Saturday June 23 11am - 10pm
Sunday June 24 11am - 7pm

Thursday June 28 4pm - 10pm
Friday June 29 4pm - 10pm
Saturday June 30 11am - 10pm
Sunday July 1 11am - 7pm

Full details here.

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